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THIN LIZZY – Thunder and Lightning

Thin Lizzy – Thunder and Lightning (2001, Wounded Bird Records)
Original Release: 1983, PolyGram/Vertigo Records

1. “Thunder and Lightning” … 4:54
2. “This Is the One” … 4:03
3. “The Sun Goes Down” … 6:18
4. “The Holy War” … 5:11
5. “Cold Sweat” … 3:06
6. “Someday She Is Going to Hit Back” … 4:05
7. “Baby Please Don’t Go” … 5:08
8. “Bad Habits” … 4:04
9. “Heart Attack” … 3:39

Phil Lynott – Lead Vocals, Bass
Scott Gorham – Guitar
John Sykes – Guitar
Brian Downey – Drums
Darren Wharton – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Produced by: Thin Lizzy and Chris Tsangarides

I’ve slowly been acquiring Thin Lizzy albums and this one was near the top of my list because I kept reading that it was their heaviest and had an “80s sound” to it. I don’t think any of the critics meant “80s sound” as a compliment, but terms like that attract me to albums, not repel me. And just take a look at that cover! That’s metal, baby!

At this point, I’m not expert of Thin Lizzy, but from everything I’ve heard from them, this is by and far my favorite release. What a note to go out on! From beginning to end, this album does not let up. It still sounds like Thin Lizzy but from the opening track, you KNOW the band is packing a lot of punch and aggression on this release along with that “80s sound” and some great guitar playing, no doubt helped along by the band’s new guitarist John Sykes (Whitesnake, Blue Murder).

This release isn’t really pointed at as essential Thin Lizzy, but I don’t see why not. Listen to “The Holy War”, “Cold Sweat” and “Bad Habits” and tell me they don’t deserve to be ranked against any other Thin Lizzy song!

Highlights: I honestly cannot pick just a handful of songs. This may now be one of my favorite albums EVER. Infectious and hard rocking nonstop.

Classic Thin Lizzy:

Scott Gorham/John Sykes Thin Lizzy tribute band:

THIN LIZZY – Jailbreak

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (1975, PolyGram/Vertigo Records)

1. “Jailbreak” … 4:01
2. “Angel from the Coast” … 3:03
3. “Running Back” … 3:13
4. “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” … 3:55
5. “Warriors” … 4:09
6. “The Boys are Back in Town” … 4:27
7. “Fight or Fall” … 3:45
8. “Cowboy Song” … 5:16
9. “Emerald” … 4:03

Phil Lynott – Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Scott Gorham – Guitar
Brian Robertson – Guitar
Brian Downey – Drums, Percussion

Produced by: John Alcock

I just recently gave Thin Lizzy a chance. I had been hearing for years about how great they were and how underrated they were in the States and how they should’ve been a huge commercial success over here, so I decided to pick up a few albums and hear for myself.

I was already familiar with “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back in Town”, but the rest is new to me and it’s great stuff.

Phil Lynott has often been called a poet, and that’s true, I love the lyrics to these songs and as for the sound itself? It’s a great blend of hard rock and pop, they rock hard but not so hard that their sound would turn off the mainstream, so it really is a surprise this album didn’t go platinum a few times over. An outstanding and classic release.

You can really hear how the band’s famous twin guitar attack influenced the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement with a song like “Emerald”.

I love the album cover, it looks like art you’d see in a 1970s Marvel Comic. The artist is Jim Fitzpatrick.

Highlights: “Jailbreak”, “Angel from the Coast”, “Running Back”, “Fight or Fall”, “Cowboy Song”, “Emerald”

Classic Thin Lizzy:

Scott Gorham/John Sykes Thin Lizzy tribute band:

Recent purchases

Man, I’ve been on a roll lately with buying music. And I’m not talkin’ iTunes. Nossir! I’m talking about that silver shiny disc that comes in a square plastic case with a little booklet that contains lyrics and artwork and band pics.

I don’t know, I just don’t get the rush of “HEY! NEW MUSIC!” when I think of downloading an album (even if they are usually a few bucks cheaper on iTunes) as compared to going out and finding a physical copy. I’m only 27, you’d think I would be embracing the iTunes era like all the other teens and 20 somethings, but I’m not.

Granted, I mostly have to use the internet to do my CD shopping anyway because Best Buy, Walmart, Target and FYE aren’t really cutting it when it comes to the music *I* want to hear…

Here’s what I’ve ordered in the last few days:

Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation
Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak
Mercyful Fate – Melissa/In the Beginning
Saxon – Into the Labyrinth
The Last Vegas – Whatever Gets You Off
Tim “Ripper” Owens – Play My Game
Charm City Devils – Let’s Rock-N-Roll
Freakshow – s/t
Wildstreet – s/t

I should be getting the Lizzy & MF albums by Friday or Saturday and the rest should appear by the end of next week. Obviously, reviews will be coming once I feel I’ve gotten a good enough handle on the albums and man, is that list of “albums to review” still gigantic! I’ve got plenty of material even if I don’t receive/buy any new albums for the rest of the year.

TESLA – Real to Reel

Tesla – Real to Reel (2007, Tesla Electric Company Recordings/Rykodisc Records)

1. “Space Truckin'” [Deep Purple] … 4:48
2. “Walk Away” [The James Gang] … 4:20
3. “Hand Me Down World” [The Guess Who] … 3:44
4. “Bad Reputation” [Thin Lizzy] … 4:40
5. “Thank You” [Led Zeppelin] … 4:47
6. “I’ve Got A Feeling” [The Beatles] … 4:26
7. “Day Of the Eagle” [Robin Trower] … 5:01
8. “Ball Of Confusion” [The Temptations] … 4:25
9. “Rock Bottom” [UFO] … 8:45
10. “Stealin’ ” [Uriah Heep] … 4:02
11. “Bell Bottom Blues” [Derek and the Dominos] … 4:58
12. “Honky Tonk Women” [The Rolling Stones] … 3:26
13. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” [Traffic] … 6:37

Jeff Keith – Lead Vocals
Frank Hannon – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Rude – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Brian Wheat – Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals
Troy Luccketta – Drums

Produced by: Tom Zutaut

This was one of the soundtracks to the summer of ’07 for me. A lot of decent stuff came out that spring and summer and this was one of the albums I listened to. Honestly, though, it’s a good release, I don’t think it’s anyting special.

These are covers of primarily 1960s/1970s blues rock (though a Temptations cover manages to sneak in) and therein lies the problem — I’m not a fan of those decades. I’m certainly not a fan of the 60s at all, though the 70s did start to kick things up a notch in that decade’s later years. Out of all the bands who are being covered, there are only four I have a passing interest in: Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, and UFO. Even then, I wouldn’t really call myself a “fan” of those bands. I’ve committed rock blasphemy, I know.

So this album isn’t a home run (cover albums usually aren’t) but there are a few songs that held my interest. “Space Truckin'” is a great cover of the Deep Purple classic and Tesla does an amazing version of UFO’s “Rock Bottom”.

The packaging for this album includs a spot for you to place to the CD of Real to Reel, Volume 2, which was initially only available by buying tickets to one of their summer concerts. It was later released commercially.

Highlights: “Space Truckin””, “Bad Reputation”, “Ball of Confusion”, “Rock Bottom”, “Bell Bottom Blues”

BLUE MURDER – Blue Murder

Blue Murder – Blue Murder (1989, Geffen Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Riot” … 6:21
2. “Sex Child” … 5:59
3. “Valley of the Kings” … 7:51
4. “Jelly Roll” … 4:44
5. “Blue Murder” … 4:55
6. “Out of Love” … 6:44
7. “Billy” … 4:11
8. “Ptolemy” … 6:29
9. “Black-Hearted Woman” … 4:47

John Sykes – Vocals, Guitar
Tony Franklin – Bass
Carmine Appice – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Nik Greene – Keyboards

Produced by: Bob Rock

I continue to eat my words as I take another look at some of these albums! I’d always heard a lot of praise for Blue Murder so I bought this CD a few years ago, I immediately loved “Sex Child” and “Jelly Roll”, but the rest didn’t leave much an impression on me.

How times have changed!

This is a great melodic hard rock album! Shredder John Sykes, journeyman drummer Carmine Appice and legendary producer Bob Rock knocked one out of the park here. Until Blue Murder, Sykes had most recently been a member of Whitesnake and played on their 1987 album, but ended up leaving/getting fired (I’ve read different accounts) and went out to form this band.

The album is more in line with your usual 80s melodic hard rock sound, but there are some touches of Whitesnake blues rock here as well, as evidenced by songs like “Valley of the Kings”, “Blue Murder” and “Black-Hearted Woman”. I’ve never checked out the follow up album, but I should.

Highlights: “Sex Child”, “Valley of the Kings”, “Jelly Roll”, “Out of Love”, “Ptolemy”, “Black-Hearted Woman”

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